Northampton construction firm lands £31m contract as part of M1 smart motorway plan
A Northampton business has landed a £31m highways contract as part of the ongoing Smart Motorway scheme on the M1 near the town.
A £373m project is underway to turn the hard shoulder on a 23-mile stretch of the motorway near Northampton into a fourth lane.
Now, Northampton contractor Mick George Ltd has been awarded a £31m deal to complete the verges along the stretch between J13 and J16.
Michael George, Managing Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’The award of this contract is an exciting one for the business as it represents the first opportunity for us to display our Earthworks services in a live highways environment.’’
‘’We’re currently providing some of our other contracting provisions to another significant highways project on the A14 Huntingdon to Cambridge scheme, and the fact that we’ve been selected to contribute towards this project in tandem, is a testament to the qualities we’ve produced elsewhere.’’
However, the scheme has been criticised by motorist safety groups in Northampton, who fear the plan to remove to take away the hard shoulder will endanger motorists who break down.
The scheme aims to build 38 "emergency" areas with breakdown telephones, but safety groups like the Road Rescue Recovery Association (RRRA) remain wary.
Highways England hope the scheme will ease congestion on the M1 and claim it will "benefit" the local economy by £959m.
Other work will include creating a concrete barrier on the central reservation and build overarching road signs - known as gantries - across the four lanes.
The smart motorway is forecast to be finished by 2022.